The Traditional Latin Mass and the Ordinariate

I noticed there’s been another minor blog explosion over at Rorate-Caeli and on Christian Campbell’s new blog Eccentric Bliss about the Ordinary Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson apparently telling a priest of the Ordinariate to no longer celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) on Ordinariate property.

Here’s a snippet from Rorate-Caeli, then a bit from some familiar names in the comments section.

Come to think of it, no, I’m not going to quote anything but the title.  If you want to read it go on over yourself.   Here’s the title:

You report: American Anglican Ordinariate, anti-Tradition zone

Are we talking about the same Ordinariate, folks?  The Mass Msgr. Steenson celebrated here in Ottawa was Book of Divine Worship with Canadian Book of Common Prayer substituted for the places where the BDW plunks in the 1979 American prayer book prayers.  And the Old English translation of the Roman Canon.  Pretty traditional. Not too much different from what we were doing before we became Catholic.  The scene up here in Canada is nothing like what is being described in the United States.  Not being in the States I am not in a great position to judge, but I suspect there are many folks who are happily going about their business and supporting the Ordinary and the Ordinariate but not commenting on blogs.

Here some stuff from the comments section:

Andrew said…

To be fair, most former Anglicans I have met are very orthodox and have a greater appreciation of how important it is to be in union with the Holy Father on Faith, Morals and Church discipline than many cradle Catholics.

25 September, 2012 13:01Athelstane said…

“It seems AC was just another attempt to contain and then smother real Tradition.”
The Holy Father is not a traditionalist, but I think what evidence we have is that this was not his intention at all.

But it’s also clear that some senior prelates have different ideas. They range from indifferent to hostile to the Ordinariates (especially in England). And some are extremely hostile to Tradition. But that’s no surprise to any of us.

The Ordinariate parishes themselves cover a broad spectrum. In a few, only the novus ordo is celebrated, which I find perplexing – what’s the point, really? In others, like Mount Calvary in Baltimore, the English Missal is used, and the TLM has been regularly celebrated. It’s a diverse community. But on the whole, a much more traditionally-minded one than prevails in the typical diocesan parish.

I remain confident that this new dictum won’t last, and that the Ordinariates will become a welcome place for Catholic Tradition. To me this looks like a desperate rearguard action by the current Cardinal Archbishop of Washington.

25 September, 2012 13:13Fr. Christopher George Phillips said…

I hope readers of this blog will not paint all Anglican converts with the same brush. Most of us understand that the TLM is very much part of our patrimony, whether or not it is celebrated in our parishes.
My own conversion and entrance into full Catholic communion took place nearly thirty years ago, and the overwhelming impetus for me was in the consideration of moral issues (abortion, artificial contraception, euthanasia, etc.). Moral truth is what led me to the full treasure of the Catholic faith.

When our parish was established a little over twenty-nine years ago, it was the first of the “Anglican Use” parishes. Although we would like to be part of the Ordinariate in this country, we will be waiting until it is more closely conformed to Pope Benedict’s vision. Speaking for myself, I’m not interested in returning to a form of Episcopalianism, even if it is in communion with the Holy See.

25 September, 2012 13:35Ben Vallejo said…

The American Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter is just one of three ordinariates in existence. The first one Our Lady of Walsingham in England allows the EF and while the second one Our Lady of the Southern Cross allows it too according to Summorum Pontificum. The Tridentine Mass is really not part of the Anglican patrimony it being standardized at the Council of Trent. By then the Church of England was separate from Rome. The Sarum Use has more bearing on the Anglican rites than the Tridentine one.
However the Tridentine Mass has definitely influenced Anglican spirituality to the extent that some High churchmen celebrated the BCP Communion service with Tridentine ceremonial. Also with some Anglicans celebrating according to the English Missal, we can conclude that the Tridentine Mass has a place in Anglicanism.

If the Rt Rev Msgr Steenson does not recognize this then his Ordinariate is less than Catholic and even less Anglican!

25 September, 2012 13:36

Ouch, Fr. Phillips!  Ouch, Ben Vallejo!

Then Christian Campbell writes:

The Ordinary seems a thorough Modernist and is an avowed enemy of Catholic Tradition. While the Rorate Cæli post suggests that Cardinal Wuerl is pulling the strings, I am certain that the Ordinary need not have been unduly pressured to adopt the same positions. After all, it should not be forgotten that Monsignor Steenson is on record as saying that it was only possible for him to become Catholic because of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council!

Gee, I don’t know where to begin to unpack this.  I have no idea if the Ordinary is a “thorough Modernist” or not.  But then, because I embrace the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and believe there was a need for reform, I guess I would be classified as a modernist, too.  Whatever.  I am not crazy about what happened in the wake of the Council—the wreckovations, the hasty dynamic equivalent translation of the English Missal, a misunderstanding in application of what the Council fathers meant by the role of the laity as the People of God, and other liberalizing trends run amok.  But that was more the result of a faulty interpretation of the Council, the teachings of which are still being worked out.  For the good of the Church.

But then if you notice some of the folks on the traditionalist blogs, they call Pope Benedict XVI a modernist and so on.  So I’m in good company I guess.

Msgr. Steenson and I were both at the plenary of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) in Sainte-Adele, Quebec this morning and spoke with him briefly around noon as we were both checking out of Mont-Gabriel Hotel to head to our respective homes.

I don’t detect antipathy towards the Traditional Latin Mass in him.   I could say more but I won’t because it was not an interview situation where he knew he would be on the record.

There is a way to be pro the Traditional Latin Mass and still be positive in one’s attitude towards the Second Vatican Council, unless one is part of the Society of St. Pius X.  We have a TLM parish in Ottawa that is very friendly to us and vice versa.  We are also friendly with the charismatic Companions of the Cross who are ministering to us now.  They are wonderful.  They love our liturgy.  We love their passion for the Lord.  I see the fruit of Anglicanorum coetibus, the sharing of gifts the Holy Father had in mind, every Sunday while Companions priests minister to us.

Whether Msgr. Steenson is right or justified in light of  Summorum Pontificum, I will leave to the scholars and canon lawyers.  But I think it would be wise for new Ordinariate priests to obey even if it stings, and set a tone of harmony and singing from the same song sheet.  There are times and places to make one’s case to those in charge and it is not all the time, anywhere, on blogs, until one gets one’s way or breaks off in frustration, to go do one’s own thing.   

I’m not saying this is the case with the priest and I don’t know enough about that situation to comment.  I am speaking about new habits of mind and discipline to help get the Ordinariate off the ground.  Especially now it cannot be like herding cats or we will start living up to the labels so many journalists have affixed on us as “disgruntled” or “disaffected” “traditionalists” who can never find anything pure enough for them.

And I am not comfortable with some of the elevation of the TLM as if it were frozen in amber as the perfect liturgy of all time.

Though, I wasn’t Catholic when I was growing up most of my friends were and I remember the pre-Vatican II days.  It was no golden age, folks, full of pious people who experienced transcendent awe when they went to Mass and had halos around their heads as they raised their many children (though there were a lot of big families in our neighborhood).  No, usually Father tried to rattle it off as fast as he could.  Someone was telling me about a priest he knew who could do the whole TLM in 12 minutes, saying it so fast the altar boys couldn’t even find where to make their responses.  I remember superstition, gum-chewing, and a highly legalistic view of God and sin. They could answer the questions “Who made you?” etc.  but did they really know Jesus Christ?  Yes, I’m a Personalist.  There’s a big difference between being able to state articles of the faith with precision as if the faith were formula and not a relationship with God the Father through the Son by the power of the Holy Spirit.

As for whether the Ordinariate is becoming an Episcopalian-flavored Ordinariate circa 1990, minus the women priests as Christian Campbell goes on to say, riffing off Fr. Phillips comment at Rorate-Caeli, again, are we talking about the same Ordinariate?

The Ordinariates are still very, very young.  I reject these pessimistic doom and gloom pictures or  calling them a failure.  That’s not to say there have not been problems in the run-up and implementation but I say wait and see.

As for Msgr. Steenson, I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with him, though limited, at the plenary. He’s been exceptionally good to us up here in Canada in many ways.  If I thought he were bent on Episcopalianizing the Ordinariate circa 1990 I would be mega distressed.  But that’s not our experience of him.  It’s the opposite, in fact.  He’s been great to us.

So, blog readers. Let’s not jump to conclusions or make premature judgments.

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28 Responses to The Traditional Latin Mass and the Ordinariate

  1. Andrew says:

    A lot of the comments on RC are just mean. It leaves a bad impression. They should cut the lawfully appointed authorities a little slack. Msgr. Steenson has had his current office for less than a year! This is all new.

  2. Henri says:

    Those traddies have no consideration at all for the anglican patrimony and wanted to hijack the ordinariate in order to make it a mere reservoir of supply priests for the TLM. As Mgr steenson is preventing this to happen, they are angry.
    Another example of why I love the TLM but not so those who attend it!

    • Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

      Henri is right that there are mean anti-Anglican ignoramuses and bigots among Latin Mass supporters. But they are not a majority and everyone here knows that I have always been very sympathetic to traditionalist Anglicans, often going to some length to defend them on Rorate Cœli and elsewhere.

      Henri’s comment about supply priests is just wrong. On the contrary, there are some in the N.O. establishment who see the Ordinariate priests as supply priests for the Novus Ordo trainwreck liturgy. It is true, however, that Cardinal Wuerl, in his tiny tiny mind, imagines that the Ordinariate could be used to get around the power of the local bishops over the Traditional Latin Mass. The fact that he thinks that shows that he hasn’t done his homework.

      So I would like to mention a few facts which have not been noticed. First of all, I’ve checked the locations of Ordinariate sacred places in Canada and the U.S.A.. With only one exception for the U.S.A. (viz. the Archdiocese of Mobile, where ++Rodi has been a real pain for Latin traditionalists), all the Ordinariate sacred places are situated in the territories of Roman sees each of which has at least one every-Sunday T.L.M. Most have more than one. In other words, this illegal–and it is illegal–restriction of Msgr. Steenson will have almost no effect in the U.S.A. Overall, the T.L.M. is offered every Sunday in 147 of the 176 Latin dioceses in the U.S.A. The exceptions are mostly cases of underpopulated rural dioceses where there are no Ordinariate Masses on any basis and not likely to be any in the foreseeable future, places such as Grand Island, Nebraska. Overall, I’m guessing that there are about 15 every-Su. Ordinariate A.U. Masses so far in the U.S.A. We might hope for this to rise to thirty or so. In contrast, there are now well over 400 every-Su. Traditional Latin Mass each Sunday. Not to put it unkindly to my A.U. friends, but Latin Massers just don’t need the help of Ordinariate priests, although I, for one, do welcome that help.

      In the case of Canada, of those Latin dioceses not having the T.L.M. each Sunday, only the Archdiocese of Kingston will likely get an every-Sunday Ordinariate Mass in the Anglican Use. But the incoming former TAC priest in the territory of the A. of Kingston just happens to be a very rare case of an evangelical Anglican incomer (Douglas Hayman), so he won’t likely be saying Latin Masses anyway. In the case of P.E.I., the incoming former TAC priest does want to celebrate Latin Masses but he crossed solo, without a community, so he will not likely be a parish priest or rector or chaplain for an Ordinariate community. Any Latin Masses he may be offering in the future would have to be under the immediate supervision of the local Latin bishop in any event. For all of Northern America, therefore, this matters only in the Archdiocese of Mobile, in Alabama, and the Latin Mass people there have a very serious petition before the P.C.E.D. right now. Rodi finally did surrender to Latin Mass supporters when he was Bishop of Biloxi, so he’s used to losing on this.

      My first conclusion is that this malicious policy of Donald Cardinal Wuerl, acting through a weak and pusillanimous Msgr. Steenson, will probably have no effect at all on Latin Mass lay traditionalists. So who will it affect? It will mainly affect Ordinariate priests. It tends to limit their access to the riches of the Traditional Latin Mass, which is, of course, integral to their patrimony, whereas the New Roman Mass is not integral to anything except itself. However, Ordinariate priests could celebrate the T.L.M. privately in their Ordinariate sacred places without Msgr. Steenson ever catching wind of it.

      I am certain that Msgr. Steenson’s policy is illegal. I get the feeling that someone is about to send a dubium on this matter to the P.C.E.D. (Could it be I?) If the dubium goes against Wuerl and Steenson, it will be published on the net; if not, it won’t be. The fun is just beginning. I don’t enjoy embarrassing people who don’t deserve to be embarrassed. But others do deserve it.

      P.K.T.P.

  3. wayfarer says:

    Interestingly, I tried to post this same message on Rorate yesterday, and it never made it to the light of day, despite the supposed pleas of “we don’t understand this?!”. Strange, huh, how a rational explanation never actually got published? Wonder why?

    Msgr. Steenson isn’t adverse to traditional liturgy. Far from it, as evidenced by the number of very traditional high Church Ordinariate parishes in the US (Fr. Ousley’s in Philadelphia comes to mind). But it is not unreasonable to think that in Ordinariate parishes, if a traditional liturgy is used, it should be the traditional liturgy of the BDW, and not the EF. If you go to a Byzantine Church you expect a Byzantine Liturgy. If you go to an Ordinariate Church wanting a high-Church liturgy, you should get an Ordinariate high-church liturgy. Why is this so hard to understand, particularly when the Ordinariates are trying to establish their own unique identity?

    The Rorate folks also have their pants in a twist because the OF of the liturgy is permitted in the Ordinariate. This follows the model of both the 1979 BCP and the BDW, which allowed for a traditional liturgy and a modern one, and is allowed on the directive of the Congregation for Divine Worship. Not a local decision, and really not a surprising one.

    After the OF of the liturgy was updated, the Congregation for Divine Worship said that communities using Rite II of the BDW should instead use the revised OF because of their similarity. So Ordinariate parishes still have the choice of two liturgies – either the traditional BDW, or the OF, mirroring the 1979 BCP and the original BDW. There are more broad Episcopal communities who are moving into the Ordinariate, and they may prefer to use the OF rather than the BDW. Since the Ordinariate is meant to be a home for ALL Catholicly-minded Anglicans, and not just high Church Anglo-Catholics, this allows even more communities to remain together as an intact parish or group yet belong to the Ordinariate. So traditional Ordinariate parishes have their own traditional liturgy, and broad ones can use the OF while remaining together as a parish. This is rational and not hard to understand. The Holy Father, through his Congregations, wants as many former Anglicans to feel welcome and at home in their new Church – which to me seems quite pastoral and generous.

    Does this make the Ordinariate more Episcopalian, contrary to the vision of the Holy Father, and a traitor to the Anglican Patrimony? Only if you think that following the dictates of the Congregation to allow the OF in Ordinariate parishes makes it so. It also makes me wonder if any of these traditionalists have ever actually seen a Rite 1 Liturgy. Because if they had, they would know how absurd their claims are.

    • Foolishness says:

      Thank you for this reply, Wayfarer. This is why I hasten to describe myself as “traditional” rather than as a “traditionalist.”

    • Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

      Sorry, Wayfarer, but your analogy to the Eastern churches just won’t do. It is a case of false analogy. They are individual or ‘ritual’ churches, whereas the ordinariates are integral parts of the Latin Church and are, in fact, not even equivalent in law to dioceses (although almost so). Under Article III of A.C., Ordinariate priests have a right as Latin priests to offer the T.L.M. and the N.O.M. Period. It is their right. In church law, the personal Ordinary has the prerogative to see to it that his priests provide Mass to satisfy the pastoral and spiritual needs of his people in accordance with their A.U. patrimony. But provided that that is done, there is nothing in law prevent an Ordinariate parish priest or rector or chaplain from offering a T.L.M. publicly or allowing another Ordinariate priest to do so in his parish. His right to do so is enshrined in “Summorum Pontificum”, which applies to all Latin Rite priests. End of story.

      This is not about the rights of Latin Mass traditionalists. This is about the rights of Ordinariate priests.

      P.K.T.P.

      • Rev22:17 says:

        Peter,

        You wrote: … whereas the ordinariates are integral parts of the Latin Church and are, in fact, not even equivalent in law to dioceses (although almost so).

        The pope explicitly said otherwise in Anglicanorum coetibus. What part of Article I, Section 3, of that document do you not understand?

        In another reply, you wrote: I don’t enjoy embarrassing people who don’t deserve to be embarrassed. But others do deserve it.

        Yes, I fully agree. Well said!

        Norm.

  4. Clive Packer says:

    So bizarre. It does look to me as if the TLM crowd wanted to hijack the Ordinariates and having failed to do so are simply spewing venom.

    And (as I keep saying) for the vast majority of English Ordinariate members, the NO would be what they were used to in their old Church of England parishes. The NO was in use at most Anglo-Catholic parishes for the last 25 years, with maybe the odd BCP Communion service at 8am on a Sunday, or for some weekday services. So it’s hardly surprising it’s being kept as one of the options for the Ordinariates – particularly with the improvements in the new translation.

    • EPMS says:

      This is a relevant comment in the context of the English Ordinariate, but no North American Anglican/Episcopalian parishes now in the OCSP ever used the OF, so it is inconsistent to allow the OF but not the EF on the grounds of fidelity to the mandate of maintaining “Anglican Patrimony.” The comment about the CDW and the suppression of the BDW Rite II is hard to verify since as far as I know only one Anglican Use parish ever used it regularly. One suspects that the Ordinary’s motivation has nothing to do with Modernism but rather reflects the kinds of issues with TLM supporters that Fr Phillips discreetly alludes to below.

      • wayfarer says:

        It is only hard to verify if you discount the words of the Ordinary, found on the OCP’s website, in the document regarding the use of the EF. Msgr. Steenson writes:

        “At the time the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter was established, the CDW provided important guidance for our liturgical use: The Book of Divine Worship Rite I should be amended to bring it into conformity with the Roman Missal 3rd edition, particularly the words of Consecration. For those congregations that prefer a contemporary idiom, the Roman Missal 3rd edition could be used.”

        Now whether you believe him to be telling the truth is up to you. However, it seems to me that the Ordinary has clearly said that the CDW (Congregation for Divine Worship) gave him guidance that 1) Rite 1 can be used in its amended version, and 2) CDW directed the Ordinariate to use the OF in the Roman Missal rather than the Rite 2 found in the BDW if they wanted a more modern liturgy. If it had permitted Rite 2 found in the BDW, it would have said so.

  5. scott says:

    Most Roman Catholic churches are not organized and appointed to offer the TLM. What would be the harm in offering the TLM in Ordinariate churches for those who want it?
    The local TLM congregation, here in Victoria, have been very kind and welcoming to me and my Ordinariate-bound community. They strike me as loving Christians and not zealous Traddies.

    • Foolishness says:

      There is a big difference between TLM communities that are in communion with their local bishops and some of the fringe who are shall we say a bit over zealous. Sadly, there are overzealous types in the prolife movement and many other things I support that help give the rest of the good people who support the TLM or life issues a bad name. I personally do not see the harm of offering a TLM Mass in the Ordinariate, and legally the priests may have rights to do so that Msgr. Steenson is overlooking. That is a different issue. But if I were to show up at my church one Sunday and suddenly find it all in Latin, even the reading of the Scriptural texts I would wonder what was going on. I think the Ordinary wants to make sure Anglican patrimony is built up first and there is a lot to do to establish that. Interestingly, a lot of former Anglicans in Ottawa are happily worshipping in the TLM parish here and while they support us, they are not interested in coming to join us. We have excellent relations with them. Some of the comments over at RC are not even worthy of dignifying with a response.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      Scott,

      You wrote: Most Roman Catholic churches are not organized and appointed to offer the TLM.

      The Tridentine liturgy actually does not strictly require that the altar be against the wall. I know of at least one community of Benedictine monks who built a new chapel with the altar in the center back in the early 1960’s, when the Tridentine liturgy was still normative. In the original configuration for the space, the monastic choirs were on the east side of the altar and the pews for guests were on the west side of the altar. (The space was remodeled, with major reconfiguration, and solemnly dedicated as a church in 2006, but the altar remains in the center.)

      You asked: What would be the harm in offering the TLM in Ordinariate churches for those who want it?

      When celebrating mass for a congregation, a priest has a solemn duty to do what will best serve that congregation rather than following his own preferences — and Peter’s objcections to the contrary notwithstanding, a diocean bishop or other ordinary has a right and a duty to enforce this. Perhaps there is some obscure circumstance in which the Tridentine form of mass would best serve an ordinariate congregation, but I have no idea in what situation that would be.

      If a presbyter of the ordinariate wishes to celebrate the Tridentine form of mass, therefore, he generally should do so either (1) in private, assisted by a server/minister, or (2) for a congregation of the local diocese that has requested mass according to the Tridentine form — but in the latter case, the mass would be under the auspices of the diocean bishop rather than the ordinary.

      Of course, any priest of an ordinariate who wishes to celebrate the Tridentine form of any liturgical order of worship also should receive training in the Latin language and formation in the proper manner of celebration of the Tridentine form of the liturgy before attempting to celebrate the Tridentine form. The ordinary is also well within his rights to insist upon this. I doubt that there are very many ordinariate clergy who will have time for this until they complete the post-ordination portions of their programs of formation for Catholic ministry.

      Norm.

  6. Rev22:17 says:

    Deborah,

    You wrote: Gee, I don’t know where to begin to unpack this.

    Yes, it is very difficult to find a starting point.

    But the previous reply by “Henri” nailed the problem:

    Those [traditionalists] have no consideration at all for the anglican patrimony and wanted to hijack the ordinariate in order to make it a mere reservoir of supply priests for the TLM. As Mgr steenson is preventing this to happen, they are angry.

    Another example of why I love the TLM but not so those who attend it!

    Our Lord said that one knows a tree by its fruit. The venom of many hard-core traditionalists, unfortunately, is very bitter indeed, as Andrew aptly pointed out.

    You wrote: I have no idea if the Ordinary is a “thorough Modernist” or not.

    Hard core traditionalists seem to think that everybody who adheres to the authentic teaching of the magisterium of the Catholic Church, as articulated by the Second Vatican Council in the dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium and restated virtually verbatim in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, is a “modernist.” Considering the source, I regard the accusation as evidence of theological orthodoxy.

    You wrote: But then, because I embrace the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and believe there was a need for reform, I guess I would be classified as a modernist, too.

    Yes, most assuredly.

    You wrote: But then if you notice some of the folks on the traditionalist blogs, they call Pope Benedict XVI a modernist and so on. So I’m in good company I guess.

    You have doubts?

    It is not possible to be more Catholic than the pope! Rather, it is those who say that the pope is wrong who prove themselves not to be fully Catholic thereby. Again, consider the source!

    JTOL, perhaps The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis provides some good insight on perspective here?

    You wrote: There is a way to be pro the Traditional Latin Mass and still be positive in one’s attitude towards the Second Vatican Council, unless one is part of the Society of St. Pius X. We have a TLM parish in Ottawa that is very friendly to us and vice versa.

    Yes, absolutely! Indeed, it has long been required that presbyters and bishops who celebrate the Tridentine form of the mass state publicly when doing so that they accept the validity of the current ordinary form of the mass and that they uphold the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, as an antidote to the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). Unfortunately, many traditionalists adhered to the SSPX and adopted its theological errors before it fell into schism, and continue to do so.

    You wrote: And I am not comfortable with some of the elevation of the TLM as if it were frozen in amber as the perfect liturgy of all time.

    Good. That attitude is just as heretical as rejection of the validity of the Tridentine form of the mass.

    You wrote: Though, I wasn’t Catholic when I was growing up most of my friends were and I remember the pre-Vatican II days. It was no golden age, folks, full of pious people who experienced transcendent awe when they went to Mass and had halos around their heads as they raised their many children (though there were a lot of big families in our neighborhood). No, usually Father tried to rattle it off as fast as he could. Someone was telling me about a priest he knew who could do the whole TLM in 12 minutes, saying it so fast the altar boys couldn’t even find where to make their responses.

    Yes, I remember those days from my childhood. Okay, not quite twelve minutes, but we had a priest in our parish who would celebrate the Tridentine mass in sixteen — and that included distribution of communion to the whole congregation during the mass, which actually was not the standard practice in those days. In most parishes, the priest and possibly the servers received communion during mass, but the faithful who wished to receive the sacrament went forward after mass to receive the sacrament amid the commotion of everybody else leaving the church.

    No, reverence was not the hallmark of the celebration. Rather, it was all about getting it done as quickly as possible so as not to “waste” any more of the peoples’ time than necessary.

    You wrote: I remember superstition, gum-chewing, and a highly legalistic view of God and sin. They could answer the questions “Who made you?” etc. but did they really know Jesus Christ? Yes, I’m a Personalist. There’s a big difference between being able to state articles of the faith with precision as if the faith were formula and not a relationship with God the Father through the Son by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    Yes, that personal relationship with our Lord and Savior is exactly where the proverbial rubber meets the road. The whole economy of the liturgy and the sacraments, properly and fruitfully celebrated, centers on forming and strengthening that personal relationship with a Creator who is both transcendent and intimate, dwelling within our hearts.

    There’s a certain reality here that if we really wish to know God, we need to search within ourselves, within our very own being, because that is precisely where we will encounter the indwelling God. And in doing so, we often discover that the barriers that keep us from finding God are the barriers that we have erected within our own beings. The process of removing those barriers is like peeling an onion — one takes away a layer at a time, and often one weeps. With the removal of each barrier, we uncover more of ourselves — and sometimes we really don’t like what we find, but it is precisely in those moments that we come to know the healing grace of our heavenly Father. May we all have the courage to go deeper within.

    Norm.

    • Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

      Given all the propaganda (in the new and bad sense) emanating from NewChurch, it took me some time to realise that Vatican II is not only open to very seriuos expressive errors but even to doctrinal errors per se. That is because there is not one word in Vatican II which is held by Holy Church to be infallible except when it repeats previously-declared infallible teaching. This is proved by the Note of the Doctrinal Commission attached to L.G. and accepted by Pope Paul VI as part of that document. This fact rarely sinks in these days. I repeat: it means that there is at least the possibility of doctrnal error. That is why the Holy See is open to a full discussion of the teachings of the Council with the S.S.P.X. Of course, the fact that doctrinal error is possible does not mean that it is present anywhere. But the acceptance of new conciliar teaching is that of Canon 752, not 750: a “religious assent of faith is not required”. The religious “submission of mind or will” in accordance with the norms of theological interpretation is, by definition, a relative submission, as the Doctrinal Note explained. This is why the Holy See frequently excoriates those who reject conciliar teachings in a polemical manner. But a respectful declining to assent, provided that one does not dissent (i.e. one may withhold assent but not disagree wilfully) is allowed, whether or not one asks the Apostolic See for clarifications.

      The matter of expressive error is often brushed off as unimportant. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Church is bound in duty not only to teach the truth but to teach it clearly and unambiguously that souls not be led astray: salus animarum lex suprema est. Even Pops John Paul II openly admitted that many conciliar documents are ambigous in important places. Commenting on this in 1982, he said that the interpretation which is in accord with Tradition is the correct one, and I add emphasis to my paraphrase of his words, *even when another interpretation is more obvious given the formulation of the words*. The admission of ambiguity on the part of recent popes and prelates is a very serious matter and should be taken seriously even by amateurs, even by Norm, even by me.

      P.K.T.P.

  7. Foolishness says:

    BTW, from what I understand, Msgr. Steenson does not have a problem with Ordinariate priests acting as supply priests for TLM parishes or groups—off Ordinariate property. Now it might get interesting in some places where a TLM and an Ordinariate group share a building. But then it would unlikely be Ordinariate property, now would it?

    • Don Henri says:

      In Indianapolis, the ordinariate group is cared for (during the formation time of their former Anglican pastor) in a parish where the pastor is a former FSSP priest, and they attend the TLM. This is a situation that Mgr. Steenson has willingly accepted, if not set up himself…

    • Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

      Msgr. Steenson does not have a problem with this because this assault on the Latin Mass is not coming from him. It’s coming from Donald Cardinal Wuerl. The Cardinal worries that the Ordinariate could be used to ‘get around’ the nasty local Latin bishops, who just love to obstruct Latin Masses by threatening Latin Mass priests. As long as the Latin Mass is under the supervision of the Latin bishops, Cardinal Wuerl is happy and Msgr. Steenson is off the hook. Steenson cannot afford–literally–to get in the bad books of the United States Conference of Communist Bishops.

      There was a sudden upsurge in Latin Masses after Summorun Pontificum was published in 2007. It lasted eleven months. Then the local bishops discovered how they could obstruct Latin Masses. Their attempts to try legal recourse failed and were rebuffed by the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. So they found that bald-faced threats worked better. Dear Father: how would you like to be a hospice chaplain? Do you ever want to have a parish in this Diocese? I know of one Latin Mass priest who was sent to a psychiatric home run by femininst nuns. I’m not making this up. I’m in constant contact with him. Another one has completely disappeared. Even his family doesn’t know where he went. When I contacted the chancery, they told me that it was none of my business. He’s been gone for over a year now. Someone should issue a missing persons report. Some here have no idea how much hatred Latin Mass supporters have endured over the years. Believe it or not, there is actually a reason for the bitterness complained of here on this blog.

      P.K.T.P.

  8. Matthew the Wayfarer says:

    WOW! Rorate-Caeli over react much? Take a pill.
    Actually I think the Ordinariate supporters won this round. I am nowhere near a TLM parish or an Ordinariate parish or mission, only run of the mill NOM parishes who are as enthusiastic for the Faith Once Delivered Unto The Saints as a snail. The Ordinariate of The Chair of Saint Peter is less than a year old. Time will be the Tell people. I also think the Holy Father knows more about what’s going on than we think. He will always get the information he needs one way or another and will act on what needs to be acted on in GOD’S good time.

    • Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

      Yes, well the Holy Father is the one who delivered Article III and all of “Anglicanorum Cœtibus” and it was he who delivered “Summorum Pontificum”. I see no reason to make enemies among friends and no reason to exclude the T.L.M. from Ordinariate communities (or vice versa). As personal Ordinary, Msgr. Steenson has a right to ensure that such communities offer the Anglican Use for his people and foster and develop the Anglican patrimony. But under Canon 905, priests generally may offer three Masses each Sunday (five if you include anticipated Masses) and two on other days. Notice that Msgr. Steenson does not forbid the N.O.M. at Ordinariate sacred places. So why should he forbid the T.L.M., provided that the Anglican Use is said as the main Mass for the people? Why should he care if, at an off hour, an Ordinariate priest invites a T.L.M. priest to celebrate the T.L.M. at the Ordinariate sacred place? In many cases, it so happens that the A.U. and T.L.M. are easier to celebrate in the same place. The practical reasons are obvious: celebration versus solem orientem, Altar rails, and so forth. But there is also a similar charism as reflected and expressed artistically and musically.

      P.K.T.P.

  9. Deborah, I’m sorry to have elicited an “ouch” from you. I wouldn’t want my very limited and intentionally-narrow response on Rorate Caeli to confuse anyone, so if I could elaborate a bit:

    I do not think the celebration of the Extraordinary Form within Ordinariate groups needs to be encouraged. I offered it at Our Lady of the Atonement some years ago (when it was called the “indult Mass,” and I did it at the request of my archbishop. The group it attracted seemed bent on making it a difficult experience (I won’t go into details), but we transitioned into what is now called the Ordinary Form, and that form of the Latin Mass is celebrated on Friday mornings with our students, and on Sunday evening as one of our regular Sunday Masses. All our other Masses (13 out of the 15 in a regular week) are celebrated according to the BDW. I say this because the Latin Mass (in whichever form) is part of our Western heritage. If the Ordinary Form is simply a revision of the Extraordinary Form (which I accept, although hard-core traditionalists might not), then I’m lost in the logic that would say the Ordinary Form (whether in Latin or the vernacular) can be used in the Ordinariate, but the Extraordinary Form cannot. Of course, I don’t need to understand the logic because it doesn’t affect me.

    What does affect all of us, however, is the fact that it has been forbidden to Ordinariate groups. This is what I was referring to, when I used the term “episcopalianism.” As Catholics, our bishops (ordinaries) act in union with the Successor of St. Peter. Local ordinaries cannot decide on their own whether or not they will follow papal directives, and certainly the Ordinary of the Chair of St. Peter is bound by what is contained in Anglicanorum coetibus. In that foundational document it says (III), “Without excluding liturgical celebrations according to the Roman Rite, the Ordinariate has the faculty to celebrate the Holy Eucharist and the other Sacraments, the Liturgy of the Hours and other liturgical celebrations according to the liturgical books proper to the Anglican tradition, which have been approved by the Holy See, so as to maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church, as a precious gift nourishing the faith of the members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared.”

    The phrase could not be clearer: “Without excluding liturgical celebrations according to the Roman Rite…” I make the point with all due respect to the Ordinary (about whom there are many things I truly admire), but to take a decision contrary to what is stated plainly in an Apostolic Constitution from the Holy Father himself is, I would submit, a reversion to “episcopalianism,” in which the local bishop is quite free to do that sort of thing because he has no Pope to whom he owes obedience.

    This is the only reason I have weighed in on the issue. I am not carrying water for Rorate Caeli, and I am not encouraging a wider use of the Extraordinary Form within the Ordinariate; but as a Catholic priest, I am concerned about upholding our Catholic understanding of the relationship between a particular jurisdiction and the universal jurisdiction of the Holy Father.

    In brief, for me this is not an Ordinariate issue (which would be none of my business); rather it is a Catholic issue.

    • Foolishness says:

      Thanks for the clarification, Fr. Phillips. I hope that Msgr. Steenson reconsiders his position in light of the Anglicanorum coetibus and Summorum Pontificum. But at the same time, I reject the wholesale leap to judgment and ad hominem attacks I have seen elsewhere and I thank you for taking the time to make clear what you meant in your Rorate Caeli comment.

      • Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

        Dear Mrs. Gyapong:

        I add to Fr. Phillips’s comment the fact that all the provisions of “Summorum Pontificum” apply just as much to Ordinariate priests as to all other priests of the Latin Church. That also goes for “Universæ Ecclesiæ” of 5 May, 2011. I won’t quote excessively here, as I don’t want to waste endless time proving Norm wrong again and again and again, as usual.

        What is seldom noticed in Article 5 of S.P. is the lack of the restrictive adverb “only”. Article 5 does not say that a parish priest, in parishes, may ‘only’ offer the T.L.M. publicly if a cœtus fidelium asks for this. It merely says that he should willingly accept the petition of such a group if submitted to him. The clause is not restrictive. If we want to discover if a parish priest, rector or chaplain may celebrate or invite other priests to celebrate the T.L.M. publicly at the sacred places entrusted to him, we must turn to Art. 1 of S.P. and compare it to Canon 837 §1. We needn’t do that, really, since U.E. also answers the question. To put it simply, a parish priest, including one in an Ordinariate, may proceed even publicly to offer the T.L.M. every Sunday, even every day, without consulting his local or proper ordinary and without having received a petition from any group of laics to offer it. I know of several cases in which that is exactly what happened.

        If an Ordinariate priest says his A.U. Mass at ‘prime time’ on Sunday and does not need to say more than one (given the demand), he is free to offer the T.L.M. or the N.O.M. without consulting or even informing Msgr. Steenson. If Msgr. Steenson wishes to prevent it, it is Msgr. Steenson who will need to initiate a canonical process against that Ordinariate priest. While this case is before the tribunals, the priest may continue to offer his Latin Masses, provided that he does not offer more priests than he is allowed to say in one day and he meets the needs of the people entrusted to him. Msgr. Steenson has forbidden the T.L.M. at Ordinariate venues. Let him now enforce his policy at law.

        In closing, I would like to paraphrase what the 1986 Commission of Cardinals found unanimously about the Traditional Latin Mass. All nine of the cardinals found that no bishop could, as a matter of principle, forbid a priest from celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass. Eight of the nine also found that the T.L.M. had never been abrogated. The ninth did not dissent but abstained from the vote. One of those cardinals is now the Pope; another was the venerable Cardinal Stickler. Let Msgr. Steenson stand against His Holiness if he dare.

        I make these points not to defend my T.L.M. people. While I love such men as Fr. Phillips and other A.U. priests and regret some negative experience they have endured (like trads who refuse to receive Hosts from the N.O. Mass), it is a fact that, statistically-speaking, we rarely need them to offer our Mass. I make these points to defend the rights of Ordinariate priests, not the rights of Latin Mass laics.

        P.K.T.P.

    • Brian Taber says:

      Thank you Father Phillips, what you say carries great weight. Therefore it has been a voice for good for the ordinariates. What you say can also create damage because of who you are. I was surprised and saddened to read your comment quoted from Rorate. Your clarification was helpful because it focused on the Truth of the issue. Defending truth can be tricky business. Your last sentence quoted above from Rorate needed to be clarified because as written was unhelpful to the important cause of unity and to the ordinary himself.

      • Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

        Fr. Phillips, some years ago, faced the problem of offering the Traditional Latin Mass for a community which included some rather nasty characters. I have encountered Latin Mass people–but they are in a minority–who do not ‘accept’ the priesthood of married men (not only in the Anglican Use but also in the Eastern Catholic Churches) and who hold the false belief that the N.O.M. is invalid. Therefore, they will not accept Hosts consecrated at Novus Ordo Masses.

        The N.O. is a valid Mass which fulfils the four ends of prayer. Unfortunately, it is seriuosly deficient, esp. in its catechetical end, because it obscures the nature of the propitiatory Sacrifice of our Lord. This is not some small concern, as the propitiatory nature of the Sacrifice is the principal meaning of the Mass. Furthermore, the New Mass is not a product of organic growth but it was concocted in committee by liberals and Freemasons, on the advice of heretics–and that genesis is evident in its entire nature. I am VERY critical of the New Mass and really cannot stand it, especially in its Offertory prayers and some of its Eucharistic Prayers. But I recognise that it is valid and does fulfil the four ends of prayer. On rare occasions, when I cannot fulfil the Sunday obligation at either the T.L.M. or an Eastern Catholic Rite, I will go to the cathedral and attend the New Mass. I now have a fourth option which is also superior to the N.O. It’s called the Anglican Use.

        Not to be too critical of Fr. Phillips, but, all those years ago, I think that he might have considered that probably not everyone in his Latin Mass community held the extreme views of some. The New Mass in Latin can be very becoming but it will never be a substitute for the ancient Mass of the Ages.

        P.K.T.P.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      Fr. Christopher,

      You wrote: I do not think the celebration of the Extraordinary Form within Ordinariate groups needs to be encouraged. I offered it at Our Lady of the Atonement some years ago (when it was called the “indult Mass,” and I did it at the request of my archbishop. The group it attracted seemed bent on making it a difficult experience (I won’t go into details)…

      I suspect that a similar group caused similar problems within at least one of the new ordinariae communities, and that Msgr. Steenson found it necessary to deal with the situation promptly and decisively before it destroyed the community.

      You wrote: As Catholics, our bishops (ordinaries) act in union with the Successor of St. Peter. Local ordinaries cannot decide on their own whether or not they will follow papal directives, and certainly the Ordinary of the Chair of St. Peter is bound by what is contained in Anglicanorum coetibus.

      That’s true, to a point. But bishop or other ordinary is himself a legitimate canonical legislator who holds the authority to enact particular law for his diocese or other particular church — and in the Roman legal tradition adopted by the Catholic Church, such particular law always takes precedence over the general law. I doubt that Msgr. Steenson promulgated his directive regarding use of the Tridentine form of mass without first informing the Vatican of the situation and his intended action, but the directive itself is nevertheless within his canonical authority as the ordinary.

      Norm.

  10. Bruce says:

    Has anyone come across a post from any member of the North American Ordinariate that supports this policy as right and proper for all times? Everyone I have read either opposes it and views it as proof for something or other. or tolerates it as something that they are sure will pass away but which isn’t worth fighting about now while the Ordinariate is barely out of the womb.

    There is also a difference of policy between the N. American Ordinariate and the other Ordinariates.

    Eventually I believe there will be coming together of minds, a return to the mean if you will.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      Bruce,

      You asked: Has anyone come across a post from any member of the North American Ordinariate that supports this policy as right and proper for all times?

      I think that you are asking the wrong question here. The right question is whether or not any members of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter have requested the Tridentine form of the liturgy.

      I seriously doubt that any members of the ordinariate have made such a request. Rather, they more likely would request the “approved Anglican form” (that is, the form in the Book of Divine Worship, as modified by subsequent directives) because that is what is familiar to them. It is more likely that a group of traditionalist Catholics attempted to hijack one, and perhaps more, of the ordinariate communities for their own ends, prompting complaints to the ordinary from the members thereof.

      That said, nobody has said that this policy is “for all times.” Either the present ordinary or his successor can rescind or amend it at any time. Nonetheless, I doubt that the policy will change so long as the circumstances that prompted it persist.

      You wrote: There is also a difference of policy between the N. American Ordinariate and the other Ordinariates.

      The difference in policy probably arose because the situation that drove the policy of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter has not surfaced in either the United Kingdom or Australia.

      Norm.

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